Indoor Mapping and Navigation Pilot

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The OGC Indoor Mapping and Navigation Pilot Initiative was sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division. This initiative addressed key challenges related to indoor mapping and navigation for the purpose of supporting first responders in fields such as firefighting. The focus of this initiative was on developing the capabilities and workflows required for pre-planning operations. This included scanning each building to produce a point cloud dataset and converting this source data into various intermediate forms to support the generation of indoor navigation routes.

First responders typically survey high-risk facilities in their jurisdiction at least once per year as part of a pre-planning process. Pre-planning outputs are often in the form of reports, and first responders may generate their own hand-drawn maps during the process or annotate available floor plans (for example, from computer-aided design models). Pre-planning is time-consuming, inefficient, and inherently complex considering the information and level of detail that should or could be captured, the lack of automation, and the difficulty identifying notable changes to facilities and infrastructure during successive pre-planning surveys.

Mobile three-dimensional (3D) Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has been identified as a potentially transformational technology for first responders. Using LiDAR and 360-degree camera imagery, coupled with advanced software processing, first responders could efficiently capture 3D point clouds and a wealth of other information, both observed and derived, while walking through buildings as part of routine pre-planning operations. The use of 3D LiDAR and imagery has many potential upsides beyond just creating point clouds for visualization and mapping (for example, use in localization, object classification, integration with virtual/augmented reality solutions, change detection, and so on).

The pilot successfully demonstrated 1) transformations of Point Clouds to CityGML with Public Safety Application Domain Extension (ADE), 2) transformations of CityGML into IndoorGML with Public Safety Extension, and 3) visualizations of the Public Safety data in a Pre-planning Tool Client using open standards and basic navigation capabilities. The participants met several challenges regarding data quality in the provided point cloud data, different interpretations of standards which caused errors and anomalies, and limited toolsets for manipulating CityGML and IndoorGML data.

It is expected that future OGC initiatives will address the real-time, event-driven aspects of indoor mapping and navigation for first response situations.

In addition to the Engineering Reports, the participants developed a suite of videos that showcase the results of the work done. The videos are available on the Open Geospatial YouTube channel. If you navigate to the OGC YouTube channel, then click on the “OGC Indoor Mapping and Navigation Pilot” playlist. Also take the opportunity to view other videos that document a variety of OGC Interoperability Initiatives.

Full initiative findings and recommendations can be found in the OGC Indoor Mapping and Navigation Pilot Engineering Report. These findings were also presented at the 2019 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholders Meeting in Chicago.

Sponsoring Organization

The following OGC Member organization sponsored this initiative. The sponsor provided interoperability requirements, use cases, scenarios, and data.

nist logo

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division.

Participating Organizations

The following organizations were selected as initiative participants. Each particpating organization had specific deliverables and tasks based on their responses to the Call for Participation.







GIS Research Center, Feng Chia University (GIS.FCU)


Pusan National University


Safe Software




University of New South Wales



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